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Photos: Berry picking at Arctic Valley

Paige Little picks blueberries and blackberries with her younger siblings and friend Kalvin Ruth on the slopes of Alpenglow Ski Area at the end of Arctic Valley Road in the Chugach Mountains on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Bill Roth
Peggy Selvester holds blueberries that she picked from the slopes of Alpenglow Ski Area near Anchorage on Sunday, August 3, 2014, to make Akutaq or Eskimo ice cream.
Bill Roth
Peggy Selvester holds blueberries that she picked at Alpenglow Ski Area near Anchorage on Sunday, August 3, 2014, to make Akutaq or Eskimo ice cream.
Bill Roth
Andre Moonin, 4, helps his mother Peggy Selvester pick berries at Alpenglow Ski Area on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Bill Roth
Peggy Selvester picks blueberries at Alpenglow Ski Area on Sunday, August 3, 2014. She was hoping to gather enough berries to make Akutaq or Eskimo ice cream.
Bill Roth
Melissa Selvester, Murphy Mosquito, and Peggy Selvester, pick blue berries and blackberries from the slopes of Alpenglow Ski Area on Sunday, August 3, 2014. The sisters said the want to make Akutaq or Eskimo ice cream with the berries they and their children harvest.
Bill Roth
Cousins Anthony Moonin and Chaz Mosquito, both 8, take shelter from rain that began to fall while they were berry picking at Alpenglow Ski Area on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Bill Roth
Murphy Mosquito, 9, center, looks for berries to pick on the slopes of Alpenglow Ski Area at the end of Arctic Valley Road in the Chugach Mountains on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Bill Roth
Lisa Maloney

I admit it: I buy supermarket blueberries in the off season. But this time of year, there's no need to because a little time and effort is all it takes to harvest your own wild  blueberries. Aside from a little gas money and the occasional parking fee, the most delicious berries you'll ever taste are completely free for the taking.

And they're not alone. Although blueberries are among the easiest berries to find and identify, there's a long list of other plentiful berries to be had across Alaska: salmonberries, raspberries, high-bush cranberries, lingonberries, crowberries and currants are among those easiest to find in Southcentral Alaska.

Still, blueberries are the easiest "starter berry" in Alaska because they're easy to find, easy to identify, and don't have any lookalikes that will harm you. When you pick berries of other colors, though, careful identification is essential -- especially when it comes to avoiding the poisonous baneberry, which comes in both red and white.

READ MORE: Buckets in hand, berry lovers take to Alaska hills to reap nature's bounty